Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 11 No. 4 (Fall 1997)


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Policy Watch: Medicaid and Uninsured Women and Children

Article Citation

Gruber, Jonathan. 1997. "Policy Watch: Medicaid and Uninsured Women and Children." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 11(4): 199-208.

DOI: 10.1257/jep.11.4.199


This paper focuses on the role of Medicaid, the public health insurance program for low income populations, as a means of reducing uninsurance among uninsured women and children. The author discusses the structure of the Medicaid program and recent findings of its effects on insurance status, medical utilization, and health. He concludes that public insurance can be a cost-effective tool for reducing uninsurance and improving health, but only if eligibility is targeted to populations in need of insurance; expansions up the income scale should be accompanied by other program features that minimize substitution of private insurance, such as cost-sharing.

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Gruber, Jonathan (MIT, NBER and US Dept of the Treasury)

JEL Classifications

I38: Welfare and Poverty: Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
J13: Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
J16: Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination


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